Cargo thieves in the United Kingdom are taking part in rolling heists right out of an action movie in order to secure hard-to-get PlayStation 5 gaming consoles ahead of the Christmas holiday — and U.S. truck drivers have reason to be on guard.
According to The Sun, U.K. cargo thieves have used a daring maneuver called “The Rollover” 27 times so far this year.
The Rollover involves using cars in front, behind, and in the lane next to a moving truck to prevent it from speeding up or merging to escape. A thief from the rear car emerges from the sunroof with a rope around his waist (for safety!), then uses a cutting tool to break into the truck’s trailer. From there, the thief can toss boxes from the trailer back through the sun roof and make his escape.
The Sun reports that the thieves have targeted trucks carrying pricey items like cellphones, cigarettes, and the popular PlayStation 5 game consoles, leading some to speculate that they may have been tipped off as to the contents of the trailer.
Since the PlayStation 5 console was launched by Sony in November, the gaming system has been flying off shelves and has become notoriously difficult to obtain.
While this type of heist has so far only been reported abroad, U.S. drivers should also use caution when hauling high dollar items, especially during the holidays. Last month, the F.B.I. launched an investigation into armed robberies targeting FedEx and UPS trucks in the Washington D.C. area. During one of the armed robberies, thieves told the driver that they were looking for PlayStation 5 consoles.
F.B.I. Assistant Special Agent in Charge Robert Bornstein said of the Washington D.C. armed robberies, “With some of the holidays arriving and some brands such as iPhone 12s and PlayStation 5 coming out which are very hot commodities; I think that’s what’s driving this type of act.”
“Carjacking & armed robbery are serious crimes, and the perpetrators of this latest spree are jeopardizing the safety of hardworking drivers & innocent bystanders in our communities with their reckless & violent actions,” said F.B.I. Washington Field Office Assistant Director in Charge Steven D’Antuono.
#FBIWFO announces reward of up to $10K in joint investigation with @FBIBaltimore @DCPoliceDept & @PGPDNews to identify those responsible for 5 armed commercial shipping robberies this month, including of UPS & FedEx trucks.
— FBI Washington Field (@FBIWFO) November 20, 2020